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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 12:09 GMT
Online viewers boost Playboy income
Adult entertainment company Playboy Enterprises has cut its losses thanks to the increased popularity of its website.

Online revenues, which almost doubled, and licensing sales offset falls in the Chicago-based company's entertainment and publishing divisions.

For 2003, Playboy said it expected online operations to report a profit, while publishing profits would be flat, and television operations lose money.

The website made a loss of $284,000 in the last three months of the financial year, compared with a $5.1m loss in the same period last year, but revenue growth was strong.

Excluding a $6.6m in one-off charges in the quarter, Playboy reported an operating profit of $83,000 for the quarter, compared with a loss of $5.1m a year earlier.

For 2003, Playboy said it expected to see operating profits nearly double over 2002.

New look bunny

For the full-year, Playboy reported a net loss of $17.1m compared with a net loss of $33.5m for 2001.

Revenues at the flagship Playboy magazine continued to slide, falling to $73.5m for the quarter from $77.1m a year before, as the weaker advertising market and newsstand sales hit income.

Playboy chief executive Christie Hefner promised a new look from April's issue, the first under new editor James Kaminsky, formerly at Maxim magazine.

Playboy said growth had flattened out in its digital cable television operations and US cable profits would fall in 2003.

It said expansion of its international digital television business, its main growth engine, would push up costs.

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